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UIC Faculty Votes For Strike, But Talks Continue

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Members of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s faculty union voted to approve a strike Thursday, although union negotiators will continue to attend previously scheduled mediation sessions with school administrators.

About 79 percent of the union’s members–including tenured and non-tenured faculty–participated in the vote, with 95 percent of those voting in favor of a walkout if it is deemed necessary to gain a fair contract, according to a release issued by UIC United Faculty.

Despite the strike vote, talks will continue over the next month in a series of pre-scheduled meetings.

“We have scheduled dates with a federal mediator through early January, and we hope to resolve the outstanding issues without a strike,” UIC UF President Joe Persky said in the release.

A union membership meeting and a vote of its representative assembly would be necessary before a strike is called, in addition to the 10 days’ notice required by state law, according to the release.

Contract negotiations between the union and administrators have been ongoing for the past 15 months over 50 bargaining sessions, the union said.

Some of the union’s goals for negotiations include wage increases, multi-year contracts and faculty control over governance and curriculum.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)